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Lesson 6: Friendships Must Be Nurtured!

A common statement that I have said way more than I should have is “I don’t have many friends.” Is this true? Absolutely not! I have really amazing friends, but to be honest, I wasn’t showing up in my friendships in the best way possible.

I have always been an introvert. I love people, but I recharge when I am alone! I really like to have my personal space. I can get overstimulated rather quickly and when this happens, I need to retreat home to be with myself. I definitely think that people should be able to sit alone with themselves. Being able to self-reflect and rest is important. The thing is, I took this to the extreme. I confused “protecting my peace” with being private, and to be honest I was not bringing my whole self to the table with my friends. For this reason, I had friends, but the relationships did not reflect the relationships I desired.

For a while I had been praying to God to “send me great friendships.” I wanted Him to connect me with people who I could build these deep friendships with. Then one day my perspective shifted. I realized that instead of praying for these new people, I needed to pray that I was showing up as the best friend I could be. My prayer changed from “Lord, send me great friendships!” to “Thank you for the divine connections you have brought into my life. Help me be the best friend I can be. Deepen my relationship with the people who are good for me.” And soon after I began to realize I already had good friendships, I just needed to show up as my true authentic self. I needed to be more vulnerable with my friends and stop putting up a wall and disguising it as “being private.” I realized here that I was actually fighting a huge trap from the enemy. The enemy really likes for us to be isolated. He wants us to think that we are all alone, but this is not the truth at ALL! God has placed some really amazing people in my life who care about me deeply, I just had to let them in. Vulnerability breeds intimacy, and intimate, deep relationships are “my type”!

I haven’t asked my friends if they have noticed a change recently, but if I did, I know the answer would be yes. Over the past six months my relationships with most of my friends have deepened significantly. I am more open with my feelings, and what is going on in my life. I have felt more support and love than ever, and it has nothing to do with them being better givers, it has everything to do with me opening up and allowing myself to receive.

While I am enjoying building deeper friendships with the friends that were here with me all along, I have also learned some meaningful lessons. The main one is that romantic relationships are not the only place to learn relational skills. You can learn so much within platonic friendships too! For me, I really thought that me and my friends should just click. To start off, we definitely did, but as you continue to do relationship with anyone you realize that relationships take work. Through my friendships I realized that I don’t have to wait until I have a boyfriend to continue working on my relational skills, but I can practice being a good communicator, accepting people as they are, loving people in their love languages, being a good listener, participating in conflict resolution, etc. right now. In the movies and popular culture, the behind the scenes work of friendships is rarely shown. I think we must normalize the struggles of friendship and the work that is needed to maintain them.

The truth is that platonic friendships can have the same ebbs and flows as romantic relationships. Seasons are going to change. For me, distance is huge factor in my relationships. Going from living minutes apart because we grew up in the same neighborhood or attended the same schools, to now living in different states takes adjustment. Different friends have also gotten boyfriends at different times. So for them to go from always being available to spending more time with their significant others changes things. These shifts do not have to mean broken relationships, it just means that we have to be more intentional with our communication. I had to realize if I miss my friend because we haven’t talked in a while, I don’t have to think of all the reasons she hasn’t called, but instead I just need to pick up the phone and call her. If she is not busy, she will most likely answer. I can express that I miss her and that I desire to speak with her more often. I can also be understanding when seasons change remembering the love and respect we share for one another. There are definitely many other examples of being relationally mature, but the overall lesson is that whatever relationship skills you would use with a romantic partner can and should be used within platonic relationships when/if needed!

Share in the comments how you are intentional in your friendships! I am excited to gain more ideas!

Love y’all

P.S. Shoutout to all of my friends who are literally the best friends ever! Thank you for showing up as your true selves in our friendships! Thank you for loving me well and supporting me on my journey! Here’s to many more years of friendship! I am excited to see how the rest of our lives unfold! I love y’all deep!


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